Sunday, 25 May 2014

Dishley Grange in photographs

Briefly, Dishley Grange is a private farm between Loughborough and Hathern. In the 18th century it was farmed by Robert Bakewell, a pioneering agriculturalist who selectively bred farm animals, to provide more feed for the growing population. The farm was originally part of the Garendon Abbey estate, and in later years was the site of Dishley Anglican Church, records of which go back to 1681. This church was superseded by the church at Thorpe Acre, known as Thorpe Acre with Dishley, and opened about 1845. I recently went on a walk around Dishley Grange, led by Ernie Miller: I posted about Robert Bakewell last week, so today I am posting some of the photographs I took of a farm that is not normally open to the public.

 The view which greeted us when we entered the farmstead was the abandoned Dishley Church:

Looking towards the altar

Looking through to the dovecote

The outer wall


Evidence of another floor?

View of the trees

Roof and dovecote

Inside the church were Swithland slate memorials to the Bakewell family. This would not have been their original position: If I remember rightly, these were "table-top" gravestones, ones that were not designed to stand upright, rather they were tombs.

Gravestones of eight of the Bakewell family

This is the gravestone commemorating Robert Bakewell, father of the agriculturalist

A memorial plaque mounted on the wall of the church 

Outside the church there were a number of gravestones to be seen. these would not originally have been laid flat, but would have been standing. The double line in the middle of the stone directly below marks how much of the memorial would have been buried, and how much visible above ground level.

Gravestone lying flat, but originally intended to be standing.

Another horizontal memorial

Commemoration of Robert Bakewell, 1725-1795

A gravestone lying flat

Just beyond the church, in the direction of the farmhouse stands a mausoleum. There is no way in. It is believed that the mausoleum was opened up around the turn-of-the-century, and was closed up again, it being deemed there was no-one of importance within. Who knows?
The mausoleum and church
Looking towards the farmhouse:

The farmhouse itself, peeping through the trees

We were not the only visitors that day!

Getting closer - through the willows

The farmhouse has had an extension to the front, but the back has some original features:

The front view of the farmhouse

The rear of the farmhouse with an original window on the far right (kitchen)
A useful outdoor tap!
 The barns formed a courtyard:
Archway on the right leading to the courtyard

Inside the courtyard

Horses within, doves to the right!

The dovecote was an integral part of the farm.
View of the dovecote from the back (i.e. from the church)

Inside the dovecote looking up to the glover

The walls showing the angled bricks that provided nesting areas for the doves/pigeons

Another view up the wall!

Old and new working together

Farming moves with the times!


  1. hi the just like to say what a lovely little wright up. regard the mausoleum I was once told by Mr Gilding that it contain family members of squire Delisle the land owner of Dishley grange and Garandon. As at one point the family lived in that farm house. regards rob

  2. Hi Rob! Thanks for your comments - and your patience in waiting for this particular page to load - this was done before I discovered how to make pictures "smaller" and so load more quickly!! Anyway, the mausoleum may well contain members of the De Lisle family, and at one time I believe people may have tried to enter, but I'm not sure about that, nor if they found anything. Have a look at this webpage for a bit more info:
    Regards, Lynne

  3. O thank you for the link. Some interesting information there. I font supose we will ever no. I was also told by the current farm house ocupire that the ruins of the church date back to 9th centrey. But i cant find anything on the web about it. Ehen i was there last i found several grave stones with my surname on them.quite creepy as my surname isn't that popular (Mee) cheers Robert Mee 😉

    1. Thanks for your comments, Robert! It's not clear to me when exactly the church was founded: Marjorie Schulz suggests some of the remains are Norman, so that could be any time between 11th and 12th centuries, or earlier if you consider that the Normans had an influence on Anglo-Saxon architecture before 1066. Dishley was part of the Garendon Estate, and we know that Garendon Abbey was first built (probably of wood) in 1133, and rebuilt in 1139, but I don't know if the church at Dishley would have existed before the Abbey was built. I'd love to go back to older, original sources, but haven't time at the moment, so I am relying on secondary sources for much of my information. Sorry, that's not much help, is it?! Over the last year or so, members of the Loughborough Archaeological and Historical Society have been actively discovering fallen gravestones that have been under grass for many, many years. I'll ask around and see if they intend to publish they're findings. Famous Mees, of course, include Arthur, who created the King's England series of county books, and my son's trombone teacher was one Will Mee, but as you say, it's not that popular a name. Regards, Lynne

  4. Very interesting! Thank you for these pictures and story. My great x13 grandparents (John Boswell & Elizabeth Hall) lived here. John was born there, as was his father Thomas.

    1. Hi! Thank you for finding and reading the blog. Great to hear about your connection to Dishley Grange! Lynne

  5. Thank you for sharing this feature on Dishley Grange. It was home to my great x13 grandparents, John Boswell & Elizabeth Hall, from the early 16th Century to late 165h Century. John's father, Thomas Boswell, was born there, too.

    1. Hi Sean! Wonderful to hear about your connection to Dishley Grange! Thanks for reading the blog. Lynne


If you have found this post interesting or have any questions about any of the information in it do please leave a comment below. I might not be able to answer immediately, but I will reply as soon as possible. Thanks for reading the blog.